At the final VCSE Review consultation event this week, we heard from national charities that are struggling to navigate an increasingly devolved health and care system. Despite being ‘national’, often these are small charities whose work is focused on particular health conditions or addressing health inequalities experienced by particular communities.
For example, the National Aids Trust advocates for people with HIV status. Often these individuals’ needs may be overlooked at a local level, particularly if they are reluctant to access services in their own area. It is important to have an organisation such as NAT to help identify these needs, to know which pathways of support lead to best outcomes, and to inform commissioning decisions about which services are needed and where.
Moreover, we have heard about disproportionate loss of funding by organisations that promote equalities, such as BME community groups and women’s organisations. The loss of capacity here also make it harder to then deliver the kinds of targeted services that would make a difference.
While many organisations would like greater influence at a local level, through Health and Wellbeing Boards and Clinical Commissioning Groups, we heard that some of this advocacy and needs analysis still makes more sense at other levels. LVSC described the important influence that can be had through pan-London working with the London Mayor, for example.
Final call for views and evidence
This was the final event of many that we have been running across the country, and we have heard a wide range of views – from grassroots and local charities as well as those small national charities that I’ve discussed in this blog. It’s not too late to have your say – the consultation deadline has been extended from this Friday 6 November to Wednesday 11 November. Please contribute online or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org